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[kuh m-buhst]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to burn.
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Origin of combust

1325–75; Middle English < Latin combūstus (past participle of combūrere to burn up, equivalent to com- com- + -ūs- variant stem of ūrere to burn + -tus past participle suffix; -b- by misanalysis of ambūrere, another derivative, as am- + -būrere)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for combust

ignite, flame, blaze

Examples from the Web for combust

Historical Examples of combust

  • Venus and Mercury, when thus 'combust,' lost their influence.

    Chaucer's Works, Volume 2 (of 7)

    Geoffrey Chaucer

  • A planet was said to be combust when its light was extinguished by proximity to the sun.

  • When Venus and Mercury were ‘combust’ their influence was lost.

  • All astrologers agree that a planet is fortified by this position, but a planet when combust is very evil in its influences.

British Dictionary definitions for combust


  1. astrology (of a star or planet) invisible for a period between 24 and 30 days each year due to its proximity to the sun
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  1. chem to burn
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for combust

late 14c. as an adjective, "burnt," from Old French combust (14c.), from Latin combustus, past participle of combuere "to burn up, consume" (see combustion). Also an astrological term for planets when near the sun. The verb is attested from late 15c. Related: Combusted; combusting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper